There are so many reasons seniors start to lose their appetite and believe it or not they actually need just as many calories as you do. As someone ages they still need vitamins and minerals found in food to keep healthy and food to fuel their bodies to keep living. That is why seeing your senior mom lose her appetite can be so frightening. Like everyone else, they need food to live.
But you may be wondering why they lose their appetite like this? The truth is there are thousands of outside influences that a senior may not have any control over. You may try to encourage them to eat more but it just may not interest them for various reasons.
Seniors are especially prone to malnutrition for a variety of reasons, some simple and others more complicated. Malnutrition is a severe problem for elderly Americans for a variety of reasons, with one out of every four suffering from insufficient food consumption. Take a look at why this tends to happen.
Senior Go Through Physiological Changes
Our basic metabolic rate slows once we become older. When combined with a reduction in physical exercise, this might result in a drop in appetite. This is OK if your elderly loved one is healthy and eating enough.
In other circumstances, seniors’ loss of appetite is associated with more significant health problems caused from dental hygiene and gastrointestinal difficulties to cancer, thyroid disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s. So, it is important to pay attention to these appetite changes and report it to their doctor when necessary.
Their Taste Buds Change
Like every other person as you grow and age your tastes change. This is very true for seniors as well. Taste buds might get dull as they age. Some drugs have adverse effects such as changes in taste and smell, as well as dry mouth. While all of these circumstances might have an impact on appetite, there are some basic things caregivers can do to assist. Chewing sugarless gum, for example, helps to avoid dry mouth, whilst cleaning your teeth on a regular basis improves taste sense.
They Feel Socially Isolated
If your mom recently lost her life partner and dinner used to be something they enjoyed as a family, meals can seem exceptionally lonely. This is when you can start inviting your senior mom over for dinner and making sure they feel welcomed somewhere. Eating meals alone can seem dull and depressing, they may not feel joy in that.
On the other hand, it could also be a sign of depression which can impact a senior in many different ways including appetite loss. Depression may also lead to a lack of interest which means they no longer enjoy cooking like they used to.
Decline in Ability
This can mean several things. Maybe they can no longer feed themselves or have control over their hands to hold utensils. This can feel embarrassing or like they’re losing their independence which may mean they stop eating. Or maybe this means they no longer have the ability to cook for themselves which also means they don’t eat anymore.